About the Program

The Centre for Human Rights Research’s Visiting Community Researcher program seeks to strengthen the human rights research landscape by supporting local researchers, activists, practitioners, organizers, and artists. Visiting Community Researchers will have access to university resources, libraries, and administrative support to connect with community organizations, as well as university faculty, students, and staff and to envision, develop, and share interdisciplinary human rights research projects. 

Inaugural Visiting Community Researcher for January 2023

CHRR’s inaugural Visiting Community Researcher is Dr. Karlee Sapoznik Evans. Dr. Karlee Sapoznik Evans is an experienced leader specializing in research, strategic policy, social service delivery, project management, systemic advocacy, human rights (particularly children’s rights), Residential School history, and sexual exploitation prevention. She has expertise as a bilingual Assistant Professor at l’Université de Saint-Boniface, as Project Coordinator and Lead Researcher for Library and Archives Canada’s Document Disclosure Project for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada in the prairie region, as Program Specialist for Tracia’s Trust: Manitoba’s Strategy to Prevent Sexual Exploitation and Human Trafficking, as Principal Investigator for numerous human rights initiatives, as a member of UNESCO task forces, and as Executive Director of the Alliance Against Modern Slavery, a non-for-profit registered charity, for which she led human trafficking prevention and protection work in Canada, Mali, and Peru.

Dr. Karlee Sapoznik Evans

From 2012-2015, she led the Ontario-wide Human Trafficking Research and Training Project funded by the United States Embassy and Ontario Trillium Foundation. The Ontario Coalition Research Report on the Incidence of Human Trafficking in Ontario that came out of this project helped inform Canada’s Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act in which this report is cited.

Karlee was named one of CBC Manitoba’s Future 40 under 40. She has represented Canada as part of committees, task forces, research, and human rights initiatives in Sierra Leone, Mali, Peru, Italy, England, Spain, Ukraine, Israel, and the United States. She has published peer-reviewed articles, books, and reports, and contributed to various academic journals and online blogs. Her 2021 publication on forced child labour and slavery in Residential Schools with co-authors Dr. Niigaan Sinclair and Dr. Anne Lindsay is available at At the Forks.  

Karlee’s areas of interest include evidence-based policy, service delivery, research, and evaluation; strategic planning; transformational leadership; the history and legacies of Residential Schools; the Holocaust, genocide, and memory; trafficking and sexual exploitation prevention; and children’s rights.

This past winter, she hosted ‘Inside Human Trafficking in Canada,’ a 7-part podcast series focused on human trafficking awareness and prevention. Featuring lived experience leaders and experts from across Canada, the podcast is available on Apple, Spotify, or via Inside Human Trafficking in Canada.  

Since 2018, she has served in a leadership role with the Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth. As Deputy Manitoba Advocate, she is responsible for research, investigations, quality assurance, and public education, advocating for the human rights, interests, and viewpoints of children, youth, and their families. She looks forward to contributing her expertise as the Centre for Human Rights Research’s first Visiting Community Researcher.